While the cricket world is fixated on what's happening in Ahmedad with big boys India and England getting ready for another slugfest, Afghanistan will play host to Zimbabwe in a low-key affair, in a series featuring two Tests and three T20Is in the UAE.
Their five-day affairs have no bearing on the ICC World Championship, the two matches at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi hold special importance for two teams that are trying to find establish their credentials in the traditional format of the game.
So, expect a keen fight.
Match and telecast details:
Match: 1st Test match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe
Days: From March 2 to 6
Time: 11:30 AM IST/ 10:00 AM local
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
TV Channels: Not available in India
Live Streaming: FanCode
Zimbabwe: ZBC TV
Pakistan: Geo Super/ PTV
Rest of the world: Rabbitholebd YouTube (Streaming)
Head-to-head: This is their first meeting in Test cricket.
Team News: Both sides will be without their biggest stars. While Afghanistan will take the field without their two biggest stars in Rashid Khan (unfit) and Mujeeb ur Rahman (not selected), Zimbabwe are without Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine. Both unwell.
Afghanistan: Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, 5 Asghar Afghan (c), Nasir Jamal, Afsar Zazai (wk), Fazalhaq Farooqi, Amir Hamza, Yamin Ahmadzai, Sayed Shirzad.
Zimbabwe: Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Sean Williams (c), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (wk), Donald Tiripano, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi.
Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan (c), Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Nasir Jamal, Abdul Malik, Munir Ahmad Kakar, Shahidullah Kamal, Bahir Shah Mohboob, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Saleem Safi, Wafadar Momand, Zia Ur Rahman Akbar, Yamin Ahmadzai.
Zimbabwe: Sean Williams (c), Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Kevin Kasuza, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Brandon Mavuta, Tarisai Musakanda, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Donald Tiripano.
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